Thread: Banyu Aigo
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:48 PM   #2
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Re: Banyu Aigo

Excellent, Ross.


A further nod could be given the universality of the fundamental observation you outline: Peace comes only through the thorough understanding, confrontation with and ultimately mastery of the nature of violence, in ourselves as much or more as in others:

"So know you, that ready men at arms a people's fate decide, and of a nation's peace or peril, are the master, too." Sun Tzu , Art of War .. on waging battle.

"Unde pacem constat belli esse optabilem finem. [So peace is understood to be war's desired end.] " St. Augustine, De Civitate Dei, XIX, 12

"Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." St. Matt., 10:34

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." St. John, 14:27

"Those who ..., in order to safeguard human rights, make use of those means of defense available to the weakest, bear witness to evangelical charity, provided they do so without harming the rights and obligations of other men and societies. They bear legitimate witness to the gravity of the physical and moral risks of recourse to violence, with all its destruction and death". Catechism of the Catholic Church, Canon 2306.

The genius of Aikido may genuinely be placing that universally observed principle into a context of regular, durable, physical and (perhaps more importantly) personally attainable form of practice within the context of violence. To be effective, that practice (as you so capably point out) must be correctly intended and directed.

The purpose is not achieved by willful ignorance or fearful avoidance of violence. Nor does it come from buying into the deadly aggressive temptation to offer merely the same in return, nor yet the deadly passive temptation to merely await its visitation before acting. It may be both of those things, or neither of them It does not easily answer to categories of winning, losing, surviving or dying. It is something else -- something different -- so categorically different it is typically unexpressible except in paradox unrecognizable to those caught within those binary categories. It is a change of perception -- dispelling many abysses of moral illusion in the problem of violence that otherwise may trap us.


Erick Mead
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